Scientists Discover New Species Of Elephant Shrew

By Meera Dolasia on September 19, 2010

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Scientists believe that they may have found a new species of the elusive Elephant Shrew or Sengi, in Kenya's remote Bon-Dori jungle.

Found only in Africa, this mysterious animal that gets its name from its pointed head and long, trunk like nose, is not really a shrew, but more closely related to golden moles and tenrecs. 

This new specimen was first spotted by a member of the Zoological Society of London. Unable to identify it, she prompted the society and the Kenya Wildlife Service to set up cameras in the vicinity, in the hope that it would appear again.

Besides catching this one on camera, the scientists have also managed to procure three dead specimens of the new species. While DNA tests are still being conducted, Dr. Raj Amin, who is leading the research team, is quite convinced that this is a new species, based on its color and size, which is much bigger than the ones found so far.

Elephant Shrews are tiny insectivore mammals that range from about 10cm to 30cm in length, and weigh anywhere from 50g to 500gms. The diurnal animals are not very social and difficult to find, because they are very active and also good at camouflage. Thanks to their constant activity, they need a lot of food and spend most of their day devouring invertebrates like ants, spiders, millipedes and worms. So far, scientists have been able to identify 17 different species of this ancient mammal that is believed to have been around for millions of years -  This new gentle giant may just be the 18th!

Sources: www.wikipedia.org,care2.com, guardian.co.uk,awf.org

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241 Comments
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  • fencingchick
    fencingchick11/17/2012
    They are so cute! i <3 their noses! ;-)
    • fyona
      fyona10/26/2012
      cute verry cute i think is a rat mix elephant i think
      • sparklecat5
        sparklecat510/22/2012
        they r sooo cute my favorite animal is the elephant so i think they r cute!!!!!!!
        • Girly10/22/2012
          its a cute widdle elephant!!!!!!!!!!!!11
          • sparklecat5
            sparklecat510/22/2012
            i know right they are the cutest thing ever!!!!
          • ac10/10/2012
            how did they see it its soooooo small. do you think they facked it.
            • blabla9/24/2012
              ewwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!! looks like a rat!
              • mr5/9/2012
                that thing looks like a mini ant eater!
                • vampire4/26/2012
                  wow so cute
                  • ls4/18/2012
                    Awwwww so cute.
                    • amber4/6/2012
                      such a cute littel guy or girl where did u find he or she.

                      Vocabulary

                      camouflagediurnalelephant shrewprocurevicinity

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